Three CCHS teams advance
Patriots men’s tennis to play Wayland in the Division 2 North Sectional Final
On Monday, June 10 on their home courts, the CCHS men’s tennis team defeated Winchester in a sectional semi-final match by a score of 3-2. The team had entered the sectional as the 2nd seed with a record of 14-2. After a 5-0 first round sectional victory over Melrose, the Patriots had followed up with a solid 4-1 win over Belmont in the quarter-finals. The semi-final win over the Sachems has propelled the Patriots into the North Sectional final against Wayland on Thursday June 13 at 3:30 at a location to be announced. In April, the Patriots defeated Wayland on the road by a score of 3-2 so this appears to be a good opportunity for this strong CCHS team to advance to the state Division 2 Finals.
The win over Winchester was a hard-fought victory. Winchester was the defending champion and entered the sectional tournament with a record of 14-2. The Sachems are a perennial tennis powerhouse and CCHS knew they were in for a battle. Adding to the charged atmosphere was a decision by the Winchester players to be quite vocal when a point went their way, something not often seen in high school tennis. All of the matches were hard-fought. Playing at number 2 singles, senior captain Ben Heinrich perhaps had the easiest match of the day winning easily 6-0, 6-4. As the Patriots 3rd singles player, Alex Li was overmatched by his opponent and lost in straight sets. With junior Captain Cole Hamilton locked in a titanic see-saw battle with the Winchester top player in the 1st singles match (which he eventually lost), it became obvious that the team outcome would be most probably decided by the two doubles matches
The CCHS doubles teams did not disappoint an enthusiastic crowd of CCHS supporters that included Elliot Lilien, the long term and legendary CCHS tennis and fencing coach. The number 1 doubles team senior, captain Nate Bartlett and his partner, freshman Ben Grace entered their match undefeated for the year but were forced to give everything they had by the strong team from Winchester. They eventually prevailed (7-5, 6-4). Thus, with the Hamilton match in doubt, the team victory would be determined by the 2nd doubles result. The CCHS side featured junior Ben France and his partner, freshman Andrew Meyer. They took the first set 6-3 but they were stretched to the limit in the second. They prevailed in the end by a score of 7-6, giving CCHS a hard-earned victory and a trip to the Sectional Final.
CCHS men’s lacrosse advances to the Central/East Sectional Title game
|Senior lacrosse player and Carlislean Noah Alter delivers the goods against
Hopkinton. (Photo by Jon Straggas)
On Monday June 10 at Memorial Field at CCHS, the Patriots men’s lacrosse team defeated Hopkinton 12-7 and earned a place in the Division 2 Central/East sectional title game. CCHS had entered the sectional as the number 2 seed with a record of 16-2 and ended the season playing their best lacrosse of the year. In their quarter-final match they had dispatched the 7th seed, North Attleboro (10-7) by a score of 18-6. While that victory was satisfying, the stakes were to be raised with the semi-final game against Hopkinton, the 3rd seed with a record of 13-5. While the Patriots had beaten the Hillers in a close regular season game, the Patriots knew they were facing a well-coached, talented and motivated team.
The semi-final game was well-played by both teams and did not disappoint what was a nice crowd on a beautiful June afternoon. While the Patriots never trailed in the game, the Hillers responded to every challenge and kept the score close throughout the first three quarters. The first quarter was tightly-played as the teams felt each other out. The speed, depth and tenacious ball skills of the Patriots allowed them to control a good part of the action. Junior Jack Bowen scored the only two goals of the period, which ended with CCHS up 2-0.
When junior Devin Smith scored at the 8 minute mark of period two with a man advantage, it appeared that CCHS was about to break away. That was not to be, however, as the Hillers fought back hard, pressed the goal aggressively and scored the next two tallies, bringing the score to 3-2. CCHS, however, righted the ship and scored two themselves, with senior Noah Alter and sophomore Peter Cook delivering the goods. Hopkinton also scored another and it was 5-3 and very much of a game at the half.
The third period was again back and forth. Junior Alexi Hunt opened the period with a goal for CCHS but that was quickly answered by Hopkinton at the 7th minute making the score 6-4. The Patriots turned it up a notch and scored the last two goals of the period (seniors Derek Stout and Brad Labadini). The score after three periods stood at 8-4 and the team began to sense a victory.
The game was more wide open in the 4th period with Hopkinton opening things up in an effort to catch up. CCHS was able to hold its own and scored four goals in the period while allowing the Hillers only three. Junior goalie Ben Anastos was strong throughout the game. Scoring for CCHS were Stout, senior Charlie Cook, Hunt and sophomore Ben O’Rourke.
This was a good test for the Patriots as Hopkinton brought a heavy physical game. CCHS will need to maintain the physicality and perhaps increase it when they face a powerful team from Medfield in the Sectional Final.
Women’s Lacrosse advances to Sectional Final
| The varsity lacrosse team celebrates its thrilling victory against Franklin.
(Photo by Tim Hult)
On Tuesday afternoon, June 11, a caravan of expensive SUVs and a yellow school bus made its way from Concord though the dense traffic on Route 95 down to Walpole High School. The CCHS women’s lacrosse team was facing Franklin in the semi-final game of the Division 1 East Sectional. Franklin, the 5th ranked team in the state, featured two outstanding seniors who were committed to play in the powerhouse Boston College program next fall. In a well-played and close contest, the young CCHS team played with confidence and poise in pulling off an 11-10 upset.
The game was close throughout, with the lead changing several times and neither team enjoying more than a two- goal advantage at any time. The first half ended with the score in favor of Franklin, 5-4. Sophomore Gabrielle Mirak had two goals for the Patriots with the other two scores coming from freshman Rebecca Dibble and junior Sadie O’Neil. The Patriots played well but were frustrated at times by the aggressive offensive skills of Franklin’s two stars and a closely packed Franklin defense.
CCHS coach Erin Cash made key adjustments at the half, pushing the CCHS defense forward and attacking more aggressively in the offensive zone. It paid off as the Patriots took the initiative and scored the first two goals of the second half (O’Neil and junior Fallon Vaughn), taking a 6-5 lead. Franklin fought back fiercely and held the lead. 9-8 at the 11 minute mark. The Patriots then seized the moment, however, and scored the next three goals (O’Neil, Mirak and junior Schuyler Winstanley), taking a two-goal lead. The last few minutes were intense, featuring several amazing saves by the CCHS goalie from close range, and fierce pressure by Franklin, contesting every ball. Franklin lost their poise a bit and incurred 3 yellow cards by players and one by a coach.
The victory was well-earned and celebrated by the CCHS team and loyal fans. There will now be another procession of those SUVs and the yellow bus back down to Walpole for the Sectional Championship on Friday, June 14th for a game against Walpole, the 2nd ranked team in the state. It should be another great one.
Softball and Women’s Tennis Bow Out Early in the Sectionals
Both the softball team and the women’s tennis team had solid seasons but lost early in sectional tournament games.
The tennis team finished the regular season with a 9-4 record and entered the Division 2 Sectional tournament as the 9th seed. In their first round match they defeated Burlington by a score of 4-1 and moved on to face perennial power Winchester in a semi-final match. They gave the Sachems an excellent match, eventually losing by a score of 3-2. Winchester, now playing in the finals, has lost only one other individual match beyond the two in which CCHS players prevailed.
The softball team had a nice run at the end of the regular season to clinch a spot in the Division 1 North Sectional tournament. They won four of their last five games losing only to a powerful team from Acton-Boxborough. This run allowed them to finish with a 13-7 regular season record and earn the 11th seed (of 24 teams qualifying) in the Sectional. Unfortunately, they encountered a team from Central Catholic (22nd seed, 10-10) that had a great game on a given day and defeated the Patriots 5-1. This was a relatively young CCHS team and there is no doubt that Coach Lisa McGloin will use this learning experience to the advantage of the softball program.
Ratcliffe finishes third in 2019 NCAA 5000-meter Championship
|Thomas Ratcliffe (center) finishing third. (Photo courtesy of Stanford Athletics)|
When Carlisle’s Thomas Ratcliffe was last mentioned in these pages, he was a freshman, and had helped his Stanford team take second place in the PAC12 2016 cross-country championships with an eighth place overall individual finish. Ratcliffe had previously been named 2016 Massachusetts Gatorade athlete of the year after completing an outstanding athletic career at Concord-Carlisle High School.
In his memorable senior year in high school, Ratciffe set the Massachusetts and New England record for the mile by a high school student with a time of 4:01. 5 in the Adrian Martinez Classic in Concord and had also captured the 2016 Massachusetts state championships in both the mile and the two-mile races.
After his quick emergence on the Stanford cross-country team as a freshman, Ratciffe seemed poised to explode on the collegiate track scene. Unfortunately, two serious injuries intervened and effectively sidelined this remarkable athlete for nearly a year and a half. He suffered knee injuries that required two surgeries to repair his patellar tendon. When he returned to training last summer he suffered a sacral stress fracture during Stanford’s fall training camp and missed the fall cross-country season.
As you can imagine, for such a gifted athlete, a rash of injuries like this can be both physically and mentally challenging. This is one focused and determined young man, however, and with the support and help from his parents, both having been serious runners, Ratcliffe persisted in his rehabilitation.
His hard work paid off and his natural talent, determination and persistence allowed him to compete this spring at Stanford. In the NCAA National Track Championships held in Austin, Texas, this month, Thomas, competing as a sophomore, finished in third place in the 5000-meter run with a time of 14:07. 92. He finished behind only the national champion Morgan McDonald (14:06. 01) and his Stanford teammate, senior Grant Fischer (14:06. 63). ∆